I’m rather proud of my way with potato salads. I’m not claiming it as unique, but it’s quite nifty. Basically, it involves cooking the potatoes in the vinaigrette in which you want to serve them, beefed up with a bit of chicken stock, and then letting them cool down in it, so that they absorb some of the juices as they cool. Try it and see what I mean.
I added the broad beans because I’m struggling to keep pace with their production at the moment. The beetroot tops got chucked in because I had some, but you could use spinach or chard just as well. And the anchovies? Call it the inspiration of the moment. They add a kind of marine seasoning.
500g waxy potatoes (eg Rosval, Nicola, Pink Fir Apple, Charlotte)
200g broad beans (podded)
Handful of beetroot tops (or spinach or chard)
8 salted anchovy fillets
For the vinaigrette
50ml red wine vinegar
50ml olive oil
2 tsp seed mustard
250ml chicken stock
salt & pepper
Cut the potatoes into whatever shapes you fancy, but keep the chunks quite large. You don’t want to lose the waxy effect. Pop them into a pan along with all the other ingredients for the vinaigrette. Put the pan over a high heat and boil rapidly. The idea is to cook the potatoes and reduce the vinaigrette at the same time. When the potatoes chunks are cooked, they should be glossy with the juices. Keep an eye on things. You don’t want to see the whole lot go up in clouds of black smoke. If the potatoes aren’t quite cooked by the time the vinaigrette is properly reduced, just add a cup or so of water, and continue cooking until they are. And if they are cooked before the vinaigrette has reduced, pour the liquid off into another pan, and reduce until it is. Leave the potatoes to cool in it. Then check for seasoning and flavour. If it isn’t quite as lively as you would like, add a squeeze of lemon or a dash more of vinegar.
While the potatoes cool in the vinaigrette, blanch the other vegs and cool them in cold water. Wash the salt off the anchovy fillets and cut into nice small bits. They shouldn’t be too obvious in the final assembly.
When the potatoes have cooled, mix all the elements up to look as handsome as possible. It’s leave to stew for an hour or so before you eat it, although it’s pretty damn tasty, warm, at room temperature or cold.